6 Cloud Security Best Practice Basics

Operating as a cloud-based business can be drastically different from a business that operates with an on-premise model. The way employees work is different. IT roles and responsibilities are different. The way that data is managed is different. There’s also a third party that is now part of the dynamic and needs to be merged into the mix. So, with many moving pieces involved with cloud computing, it’s necessary for businesses to follow these basic best practices to keep cloud solutions and cloud data secure.

Pick the Right Cloud Services Provider

Not all cloud providers are the same. With the rise in cloud services comes a rise in cloud providers. Picking the right one ensures your long-term success with secure cloud computing. You now have another player in the digital mix when you transition to a cloud environment. Some of the tasks that IT teams manage will be managed by a third-party cloud service provider. So, it’s a must that you trust your cloud services provider and it’s important that you evaluate different ones.

Establish and Enforce Cloud Security Policies

After completing your migration to the cloud, it’s crucial to detail and distribute new written policies and guidelines for data and applications. Working in the cloud doesn’t come without risks and security challenges. Therefore, building a policy that addresses cloud security solutions and is an extension of the corporate policy will help minimize vulnerabilities that exist from working in cloud environments.

The extended cloud security policies focus mainly on who can access cloud data and applications, how cloud services will be used, and what type of data will be stored in the cloud. Depending on the size and the nature of your company, you can also specify the employee access, as well as the tools and technologies needed for cloud computing security. Being consistent with the enforcement of cloud security policies will build a corporate culture that understands the importance of keeping cloud environments and cloud services secure.

Train Employees on Cloud Security Solutions

Making employees aware of risks and how they are the top target for cyber criminals is your first defense for cloud security. The 2022 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report claims that people are involved in more than 80% of breaches. The top three human risks are phishing, passwords, and updates. To minimize these risks, companies need to educate employees on methods for maintaining secure cloud environments.

A well-rounded employee training program for your cloud service should include:  

  • Consistent distribution of educational materials and information
  • Effective measuring tools
  • Testing and evaluation

For small businesses, this is extremely important since they are often targets because of their limited knowledge and small budgets for IT security. A great resource for small businesses is a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) or Managed Services Provider (MSP). An MSSP or an MSP, will usually have training programs available for their clients use.  

Secure Access Endpoints

Cloud computing introduces a multitude of new endpoints that cyber criminals can access and compromise. Between remote workers, smartphones, personal laptops, and a growing list of Internet of Things (IoT) devices the number and types of endpoints continues to grow.

For IT teams it can be difficult to manage and monitor endpoint security. It can be an even bigger challenge for small businesses because many aren’t even aware of the importance of securing endpoints. For maximum cloud security, ensure that each of those endpoints follows security protocols, such as multi-factor authentication, intrusion detection, anti-malware, VPN, and access control.

Encrypt Data in Cloud Computing

Data encryption plays a vital role for cloud security. Because data in the cloud is constantly in motion with cloud computing, encrypting data creates an extra layer of security. Data encryption allows you to fortify your cloud environment from all kinds of external threats and potential breaches. This additional layer keeps your data secure because without a way to decrypt it, it inaccessible and unusable.

According to a report by Varonis,  there are seven million data breaches that occur every day due  to unencrypted data. It’s critical to check with your cloud provider to make sure they are consistently encrypting your cloud data.

Control Access on Cloud Computing

With data in the cloud, users must access the data remotely. This means that organizations need to tightly manage user access controls. It’s important to understand that there are two parts to controlling access:

Authentication. This process verifies the user or the client. It confirms that users are who they say they are. Authorization is verifying what data and systems the user can access and provides a user permission to access a resource. Both process checks work together.

Authorization. The authorization process must always follow authentication to ensure a secure environment. Passwords are a form of authentication, but for cloud security there are more effective ways to authenticate a user. System administrators who assign permission levels for users manage authorization.

During the authorization process, once a user authenticates, the system checks the user’s access privileges and either grants or denies access. The following access controls determine authorization:

  • Mandatory access control (MAC). This is managed by an administrator and requires that the user and the object being accessed are assigned similar security attributes to interact with each other.
  • Role-based access control (RBAC). This is managed by an administrator and users have access based on their job role or as part of a specific work group.
  • Discretionary access control (DAC). Once a user is allowed access, they can give access to another user on an as-needed basis.

Businesses of all sizes are moving their systems and data to the cloud. With that comes more risks and vulnerabilities for cyber criminals to steal data and hijack systems. Building a secure and impenetrable defense against attacks is now a team effort between organizations and cloud providers. Following best practices for cloud security give businesses a start on basic protection.  


Visual Edge IT, Inc. (VEIT) specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the U.S. including remote office locations. We offer a full line of office technology and services including 24/7 remote monitoring and administration of networks, service desk, and data backup and restore to improve business processes across a variety of industries. Plus, Visual Edge IT™ represents the industry’s leading manufacturers of office technology allowing businesses to get equipment, supplies and service from a single source. Backed by more than 20-years of technology service and a national network of expert engineers, VEIT is uniquely positioned to support business technology needs. The company is headquartered in North Canton, OH, USA. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.